CHATAN — On Nov. 9, Chatan Town conducted the fiscal 2019 earthquake and tsunami evacuation drill for residents and workers in the Kitamae and Mihama districts. Residents of the two districts, which are located in low-lying areas, and other participants entered the grounds of the U.S. military’s Camp Zukeran and evacuated to the Navy hospital, which is situated atop a hill.
The town has signed an agreement with the Marine Corps Installations Pacific to allow Japanese to enter the base on foot if a tsunami warning is issued.
During the drill, citizens and other participants were divided into two groups and walked either 1.6 km from Camp Zukeran’s Kitamae Gate to the Navy hospital or 2.1 km from the Spot Gate to the Legion Gate. It took participants about 20 to 40 minutes. U.S. service members and their family members living on or outside the base also took part in the drill.
During the drill’s closing ceremony, a representative of Chatan Town Hall said, “Make sure you know how to get to the evacuation spot and how much time you need to get there so that you can protect yourself.” Itsuko Osawa [spelling not confirmed], a 42-year-old woman from the Mihama district, carefully checked the evacuation route as she participated in the drill. She said: “I hardly ever have the chance to enter the base. Even just one person who knows the evacuation route may be able to save many people.”